Your First Lesson

On your very first lesson the Instructor has to teach you something called the cockpit drill. This page is designed to give pupils the "heads up" on this procedure and as such save you time and money.

The Cockpit Drill

People come in different shapes and sizes. This is why the first thing any driver needs to do before setting off is the cockpit drill , which is a series of five steps that need to be performed in order to get the car ready for them as an individual to drive.

1. Doors
You need to make sure that the doors are shut correctly. We don't want them coming open while you are driving the car. The best way to check the doors is to listen for a nice "solid" thud when the doors are closed. If in doubt shut them again. Some modern cars have a warning sound or light that appears on the dashboard.

2. Seat
You will need to adjust the seat so that you can reach the foot controls. The optimum position is to have a slight bend in your left leg when you push the clutch pedal down. If you are too close to the pedals you will be unable to use them correctly and if you are too far away you will be unable to reach them.

3. Steering
Now that you have adjusted the seat for your feet you need to adjust the back support part of the seat to enable you to reach the steering wheel. If you put your hands on the top of the wheel you should have a slight bend in your arms. If you are too close you will not give yourself enough room to steer. You also want to take this opportunity to also adjust your head rest. The correct position for the head rest is for it to be in line with the back of your head.

4. Seat belt
Now that you have completed the steps above you are in the correct driving position. It is now time to secure yourself in place with the seat belt. When putting on the seat belt make sure that there are no twists in it and that it is resting on the shoulder.

5. Mirrors
In most cars there are two types of mirror: - The internal and external (left and right) mirrors. Keeping your head in a normal driving position (no slouching) you should adjust the internal mirror so that you can see the whole of the back window. The external mirrors should be adjusted so that you can see a little bit of the back of the car and right up the road behind you.

A good way of remembering the five steps above is to think D.S.S.S.M. You may have some questions about the finer points of these steps like "where is the control to adjust the seat?" Your Instructor will cover these with you on your lesson.


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